Buddhism is practiced by about 95% of Thailand’s population. One of their key beliefs is to respect all living creatures. Buddhist monks take their beliefs and practices very seriously, as many tourists observe. Well, a video of an incident with a cat during the five-hour long New Year prayers in a Thai temple caught the attention of many tourists, and locals as well. A friendly cat crawled up the lap of a praying monk, and the monk gently tried to push him away. His patience was put to the test as he was chanting the prayers, which takes a lot of concentration. Even after several attempts to dissuade the furry feline, the monk finally gave up and started petting the furry intruder. “I was trying to read the book. But I was more focused on the cat, “ the 25-year old monk, Luang Pi Komkrit Taechachoto said. The older monk beside gravely stared at the cat, who happens to be a regular visitor. But the cat seemed persistent on staying and being petted. This happened at the temple Wat Udomrangsi in the outskirts of Bangkok. According to the videographer, Nophayong Sookphan, the cat jumped on stage 15 minutes before midnight, and would not leave until after the countdown to New Year’s day. It was originally posted on Facebook and was soon reposted on different pages. It gained at least 300,000 views and was replayed on Thai TV.
There are many roaming cats in Buddhist temples, and Wat Udomrangsi is home to at least a dozen or so. They are fed by devotees, and as Komkrit explains, “they are all fat.” Well this cat surely wanted to make sure the New Year happened, to the delight of the Thais and tourists who saw the video.